Sunday, February 24, 2013

Drought Denting For Southern Plains...Still A Ways To Go

The storm that brings us Tuesday's soaking of rain will sock the Plains with their second snowstorm in a week's time, bringing additional snowfall to Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri -- all places that could use more moisture given their drought over the past couple of years.

Model projections suggest the possibility of anywhere from eight to sixteen inches of snow in a swath from the northern Texas Panhandle through Western Oklahoma to Western Missouri by Tuesday AM.  Some places probably see more than that.   Winter Storm and Blizzard Warnings are out for much of the Plains with this storm, similar to last Thursday's winter storm as well.

The precipitation is welcome for those in the Plains despite the inconvenience of snow. These areas are still under extreme drought conditions and need a lot of rain in the next three months to get themselves out of drought conditions.  Parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas need to pick up over 18 inches of rain, nearly double their average, before the end of April.  This month has provided a good start in that denting for the Plains, as well as the Southeast as they also picked up a few inches of rain from last week's storm and should get more from this upcoming storm.

As we stated last week, getting rain on the Plains is critical if we're going to see a limitation of the size and scope of the summer heat ridge.  Potential for a hot summer still looms through the country but getting and keeping frequent precipitation across the drought-stricken areas will help limit the potential for a mega expanse of heat nationally.